Write Like No One Will Read It
By: Peggy Willms
(5 min read)
By working with nearly 200 storytellers, bloggers, and authors over the last two years, I have gathered a few common themes. As I share responses to their concerns, know where I start is the exact place I will end up.
Write Like No One Will Read It.
Think about why you write. Do you journal to get things off your chest or to work your thought process out on paper? Sitting in front of my keyboard and letting my fingers do the walking feels like I am being channeled. Like my body is the conduit for messages or used to highlight areas I haven’t thought about. Most of my years have been divided into two categories…1) write as if EVERYONE will read it, and 2) write with the hope that no one will ever read it.
I have 15.5 years of journals written by my mother, capturing the minute I was born to the middle of my sophomore year of high school. There is no indication why she stopped writing, except I can assume it is because she had three children and it got too busy. I have written poetry, essays, and stories since I can remember. And have journaled since 1992 until the present. Therefore, I have documented nearly every week of my life … 46.5 years (9.5 years missing). Pretty crazy.
When creating content for school, college, Corporate America, or while conducting my own fitness and coaching content, I wrote like I wanted everyone to read it. My desire was driven by the lens of teaching, sharing, empowering, and inspiring others, hoping they would be sparked to improve the quality of their life or enhance their personal awareness and growth. Then came the years of writing like, “Please, God, do not let anyone find this stuff.” Those years, in hindsight, are the juiciest, most life-changing, yet most “controversial.” It is tricky to share the deep stuff when you are in a leadership position. It isn’t too cool to say, “Oh, go ahead and ignore that I am manic and never sleep; just listen to me, and do this.” I am not a fan of hypocrisy, so I chose to share publicly at a superficial level on most subjects. I also hide behind certifications where speaking of politics, gender, religion, and sexual preferences were not subjects you discussed. This allowed me to keep my “personal” opinions and experiences in these lanes on the down low.
But I have changed. Quite frankly, I have flipped my beliefs and thoughts on their heads and swung to “WRITE IT ALL AND WRITE LIKE NO ONE WILL EVER READ IT.” What do I mean? Listen, we are all more alike than not. Everyone connects on some subject, belief, or experience. Get it out FOR you. Expect the unexpected. Someone might see it and reach out, but does it matter if they do? You own your words. They are from your perspective. Respect your memories. Get them down and out. I am not suggesting you be disrespectful and call out every Tom, Dick, and Harry you know and throw it in the N.Y. Times. But tell your story your way, or someone else will!
Here are some questions or statements I hear when speaking to others about writing their blogs, stories, or books.
Q: I have nothing special to say – who would care if I wrote a story?
A: We all have something unique to say. Whether you are a hoarder, recovering addict, trauma victim, have experienced an over- or under-weight journey, are combatting a problematic disease or disorder, have ridden a financial rollercoaster, etc., you have a story to tell. Every experience connects us. We are more alike than not.
Q: What if I share something that makes someone angry or hurts them?
A: Tell your own narrative before someone else does. Own your perspectives. Most of us are waiting for our story’s “main character” to die before we are willing to share the experience. Remember, YOU are the main character. Don’t be silenced. You also do not need to defame someone to share your life journey. You can create “fake” names for your characters.
Q: My story will stir up too much in me, and I am not ready for it to bubble.
A: You don’t have to start by writing your autobiography. Start with poetry, blogs, and short stories. You don’t have to dig deep to connect and change lives. Take a baby step. Writers heal when they peel back the onion from old wounds. It is a process. Take your time. Have others read some of your entries? Get “safe” feedback.
Q: I am afraid of the publicity or negative feedback.
A: I get that … going public. Uh Oh. However, you are in control. You can choose with whom and where you share—social media, magazines, books, interviews, etc. Ignoring trolls and evil people is exhausting, but don’t let them stir you up. They will move on eventually. It is more about them and not you anyway. Use the block button.
Q: I don’t have time.
A: No time? PAWLEEEZE. We make time for our needs AND wants. Believe it or not, once you start, it flows; if it doesn’t on a particular day, put it on the shelf to sit. Creative juices do not always flow when forced. At any given time, I may have a dozen projects in the mix. Some require different creativity and are driven by various moods. If you struggle to build something “fresh,” consider repurposing something you have already written—a journal entry, a blog, or a chapter out of an old or new book.
Q: I am not a professional writer.
A: You do not need an English degree to be a writer or an author. Find social media groups and learn tips and tricks. Start by writing a blog for a small company. You do not have to be a professional. Read your work out loud and solicit a few family members or friends to give feedback. Note it may take several tries for some entities to approve your work or ask you to come on board or publish your work. It is part of the process. Publications are looking for certain energies and content to align with their mission and vision, and it likely has nothing to do with you as a person or even as a writer.
Q: I am already a published author, why would I participate in other projects?
A: This might sound like a silly question, but I have heard it. My simple answer is … in today’s world if you want your work to be seen by the masses, then play with the masses. Get as many books or articles of writing on your “bookshelf” as possible. Each time you write, you edify and legitimize yourself to not only the world but to yourself. Beyond the opportunity to become a published author again, you can mention your other work in your interviews. Dust off that old work and pitch it again. Connect the dots between everything you do or say. Ramp up.
There are powers in many. If you do not want to walk the storytelling journey alone, reach out to others while you get your feet wet. (As a side note, to find out more about blogging for me, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you would like to reserve your spot to be published in our third book of the All Things Wellness book series, Wellness G.P.S. (Getting Prepared for Success), visit www.allthingswellness.com/authors/wellness-gps
Share your experiences and expertise with the world. We aren’t here to keep such beautiful gems to ourselves.
All Things Wellness, L.L.C.
The information provided is the opinion of the author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice: diagnosis, or treatment. The author, the business, All Things Wellness, L.L.C., and its owner Peggy Willms, are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this article or website. We assume no responsibility for tangible and intangible damages such as physical harm caused by using a product, loss of profits or loss of data, and defamatory comments. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.